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Fire breaks out at a farm just two days after RSPCA saves 200 animals

A fire has broken out at a farm just days after the RSPCA saved more than 200 animals suffering from abuse there – including 123 horses and even an alpaca.

The RSPCA rescued over 200 animals from Hurst Farm in the Surrey village of Ripley on Wednesday morning in one of the largest cases of animal abuse it had ever seen.

Then in the early hours of this morning, a fire was started in a heavy goods vehicle on the site two days after the raid. No animals are being kept at the farm. 

Hurst Farm in Ripley, Surrey, is pictured yesterday after the RSPCA removed 204 animals

Hurst Farm in Ripley, Surrey, is pictured yesterday after the RSPCA removed 204 animals

The RSPCA said the raid followed one of the largest cases of animal abuse it had ever seen

The RSPCA said the raid followed one of the largest cases of animal abuse it had ever seen

The RSPCA saved more than 200 animals at the farm - including 123 horses and even an alpaca

The RSPCA saved more than 200 animals at the farm – including 123 horses and even an alpaca

Animals saved from abusive conditions during a multi-agency raid included 123 horses, 59 dogs, eight donkeys, alpacas, goats, chickens, a duck and a cat.

They are all now being held in care by charities. Two horses and one goat had to be put down on the day of the raid when they were found collapsed on the site.

Photographs showed unkempt land and discarded farm equipment, with livestock buildings still full of filthy bedding. An investigation into the abuse is ongoing.

An RSPCA official said: ‘This is one of the largest cases of animal abuse we have seen. Concerned members of the public reported the conditions at the farm to us.’

The farm is pictured yesterday, one day before the fire took hold in the early hours of today

The farm is pictured yesterday, one day before the fire took hold in the early hours of today

Animals saved in the raid included 123 horses, 59 dogs, eight donkeys, alpacas and goats

Animals saved in the raid included 123 horses, 59 dogs, eight donkeys, alpacas and goats

Photographs showed unkempt land and discarded farm equipment on the site in Surrey

Photographs showed unkempt land and discarded farm equipment on the site in Surrey

Investigators are looking into whether the farm animals were a personal collection that had spun out of control or a commercial venture gone wrong.

It is believed that one individual has been taken in for questioning but no arrests have been made. At least seven horse boxes were used to help with the rescue.

The RSPCA worked with Surrey Police to carry out a warrant at the farm under the Animal Welfare Act. Officers and Trading Standards attended the raid to assist.

Vets and many other charities also helped out including Bransby Horses, Redwings, the Horse Trust, the Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare and Dogs Trust.

Two horses and one goat had to be put down on the day of the raid earlier this week

Two horses and one goat had to be put down on the day of the raid earlier this week

It is believed one individual has been taken in for questioning but no arrests have been made

It is believed one individual has been taken in for questioning but no arrests have been made

An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘On Wednesday. RSPCA officers joined Surrey Police to execute a warrant at a farm in Ripley, Surrey, under the Animal Welfare Act.

‘The RSPCA-led operation saw 204 animals removed, including 123 horses, eight donkeys and 59 dogs, due to welfare concerns.

‘The investigation is now ongoing so we can’t go into any further detail at this time. 

‘However, we would like to thank Surrey Police, Guildford Borough Council, Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards, Bransby Horses, Redwings, The Horse Trust, The Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, Dogs Trust and the vets who attended for their assistance.’

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